Investigators of Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office on Wednesday arrested the president of a foundation that sought the demobilization of FARC members, but allegedly ended up producing fake testimonies over lawmakers’ ties to the guerrilla group.
Gustavo Adolfo Muñoz of the Fundacion Nueva Esperanza (New Hope Foundation) is facing charges for procedural fraud and perjury for falsely filing charges and testifying against two Liberal Party congressmen who he accused of holding top positions within the country’s largest and oldest rebel group.
Muñoz, a lawyer, had testified against Senator Luis Fernando Velasco who he accused of being a commander of a FARC elite fighting unit in southwest Colombia and had testified against former House Representative Gemma Rojas for having used FARC intimidation to be elected into congress.
According to weekly Semana, the attorney was also involved in the failed case against former Liberal Party deputy Sigifredo Lopez who was accused of having fabricated his own kidnapping.
Muñoz had regularly appeared on national television station RCN and radio station Caracol where he claimed to have secured the demobilization of hundreds of FARC guerrillas, some of who later made or supported accusations made against Liberal Party politicians.
Allegedly demobilized guerrillas — some of whom proved not to be FARC fighters but civilians — were used in the unsuccessful court cases against the politicians.
According to Velasco, who was investigated while being one of the main opponents of a then-pending referendum on the 2010 reelection run of former President Alvaro Uribe, the false accusations against him were supported by now-defunct intelligence agency DAS and were part of a campaign by the Uribe administration to discredit dissident politicians.
Uribe was forced to begin the dismantling procedure of the DAS after a series of scandals that involved drug trafficking, the infiltration of paramilitary group AUC, the illegal wiretapping of the Supreme Court and Uribe critics, and the killing of politicians and human rights workers.
Muñoz recently denied his foundation was used to falsely incriminate Uribe opponents and claimed the charges against him were part of a political persecution because of his loyalty to Uribe.